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Content accurate at time of publication
01 May 2013
The same gadget that serves you so well at home may not necessarily have what it takes to withstand the rigours of travel – at least not without a little help. Here are a few options for making sure your precious gear can survive bumpy dirt roads or gritty sandstorms.
BY CHRISTOPHER LIM
Fans of OtterBox, one of the go-to brands for top-class protection for phones, no longer have to settle for boring black cases. With its Build Your Own Case option for the Defender series, you can mix and match colours to create 42 combinations for the Samsung Galaxy S III case and a whopping 72 combinations for the iPhone 5. Underlying those fun shades remains some serious protection – a plastic inner shell that envelops the phone, an integrated screen protector to prevent scratches, and a rubber outer cover for added protection from accidental drops.
There are soft fabric laptop sleeves that don’t offer much protection, and then there’s the Pelican 1085CC, made for 14-inch laptops. Its crushproof exterior withstands luggage-bin conditions with ease, a moulded shock-absorbing plush liner cushions your laptop from impacts such as drops, while a watertight gasket keeps sensitive electronic components dry. The case even has a valve that maintains the air pressure within, so your laptop’s screen will not crack from pressure changes.
Camera bags are useful when travelling, but even the best of them do not provide the sort of protection that hard cases like Beta Shell give. Made of ABS polymer, these cylindrical cases are crushproof and come in a variety of sizes to accommodate cameras and lenses of varying dimensions. Model 5.140, Beta Shell’s most popular, fits cameras such as Fujifilm’s X100 and Leica’s M9, camcorders such as Sony’s HDR-SR12 Handycam, and lenses such as Canon’s EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM zoom lens. Like other Series 5 models, it comes with a Fit & Trim Kit – inserts that can be customised to ensure a snug fit for gear – and is waterproof to a depth of 1m.
S$99.99; US$129.99 with stand
That large glass touchscreen on the Apple iPad makes it rather fragile; a single drop from the wrong angle is all it takes to do it in. But with the LifeProof Nuud iPad case, you are freed from having to baby the tablet while travelling. Able to withstand water, shock, snow and dirt, the case is also set apart from others by its lack of a screen protector; it relies instead on a tight seal around the edge of the screen to keep liquids and other foreign matter out. This makes it great for those who don’t want the sensitivity of the touchscreen interfered with, but it does mean that a sharp impact on the screen will still shatter it. In the case of drops of up to 1.2m, however, the thick plastic armour is likely to take the initial ground impact.